‘Excellence is not a Skill but an Attitude’… This is a well known quote which describes the power of attitude in a very strong manner. So with keeping this idea in mind we launched our project ‘Conquest of Space’ with the theme ‘From Advanced to Mastered’. Participating in a sport is really good and being selected to a team and playing in a team is extremely a great achievement. But only few players get this chance to play for a team. But we have seen it many times that the best teams get lost though the best players play for the team. This reminds us all, just how important an attitude is, than a skill. So the priority should be given to improve the attitude of the team rather than improving skills as they inherited them with practice. So we decided to bring this project to such a team where talented players included in, and where success can be achieved by changing their attitude and making them confident to win. ‘CONQUEST OF SPACE’ was not only another child education or sports project. It was also a skill development project which also included improving leadership skills of Chess Team Captains in different age levels. Because it’s a sport which develops individual performances by working as a team and where team work strategies are highly appreciable.
This special project was conducted for advanced school chess players who had represented in All Island Inter school chess tournaments and also awarded by ‘Board Prices’ in recent years. First, we asked Mr. Nishantha Bandara – Teacher in charge of Sports – BMMV, to provide us a list of chess players who are already playing for the school team and who had showed special performances in this sport so far. Then he gave us a list of 28 students who contributed in winning the Uva Province Chess Championship in year 2011. They are from the teams, Under 15 and Under 19 (Boys/Girls), 7 in each team including 1 reserve player.
Then we moved on to a discussion with the Chess team of University of Moratuwa regarding the procedure of the program and the possibilities to use more resources to make this project more beneficial to many of the players. In the special board meeting hold regarding this project, it was proposed to donate some sports accessories to the school. One suggestion raised that it should be a set of books on Chess, and another was to donate a chess clock. However we ended up with the decision to donate three chess mats of a quality brand with sets of chess pieces. Because we thought it would be the most beneficial addition to the school chess club.
There was another time slot allocated for the chess quiz. In the Quiz Competition some end game puzzles were given to the students and they were really enthusiastic in making solutions for them.
- Hasitha Dilshan
- Mahela Dilshan
- Ravindu Mahela
The final session was the Prize giving and handing over the donations to the school. The prize giving was chaired by the Chief Guest, Mr. Nishantha Bandara. It became the closing ceremony of ‘Conquest of Space’ and the Chief Guest addressed the gathering and he appreciated this contribution of UoM Leos in developing chess in his school and he made a request to organize this event in another time as it reached the maximum level of Success… Leo Naveen, the President while addressing the occasion didn’t forget to thank everyone for the support rendered beyond their comfort zones to make this endeavor a SUCCESS.